You give me this look that you learned from watching America’s Next Top Model. Today darling, you have to unlearn. You look so beautiful when you do nothing, when you don’t pose, when you’re just yourself. I want to photograph what I see before you realize I’m lifting the camera to my face. That look you get when you’re just talking about your dog.
Sometimes you meet someone and you just connect
Right before the party you were having a Tuna Nicoise on 17th, and that’s when it hit you. You started crying and you didn’t brush away the tears. You let them roll down your face and you let the tracks dry. Man. He called you yesterday and said it was over. He didn’t use those words, but he sure was back-peddling because of something. It’s only later, as your stomach was rumbling from hunger, that you grasped the essence of what you were trying to hide from yourself. You didn’t matter to him. For an hour and fifteen minutes you came to grips with that fact. You were not prized. You could live, you could die, you could leave, you could not, you could call or be unheard from, it wouldn’t matter. For an hour and fifteen minutes you were nibbling at bits of avocado and bacon and egg realizing that either way, he’s okay. With or without you. The feeling in your stomach was worse than nighttime airplane turbulence, so you skipped dessert and went home and climbed into bed. It was 4 in the afternoon and you stared at the ceiling. That was eight hours ago. Before it all became clear, before your spirit woke up, before your face took on the appearance of a sudden smile, before you saw all your missed calls, before your yearly dinner with Jackie, before you put on your New Year’s dress, before you had a shot of Jameson with Megan, before the owner of Lit gave you five drink tickets, before you realized that standing in the same room as him had no effect on you, before you had deconstructed his myth, before you remembered the boy with goals (one of them: you), before you remembered your own, before the DJ played the Massive Attack song that he (the boy with goals) introduced you to on your delayed flight and that you guys had on repeat eating chocolate covered almonds, before you gently fingered the new necklace that no-one knows the origins of, before the New Years Countdown that should have been hell, before the new years kiss that you would always remember as “closure”, before you rushed to the red tiled bathroom so you could hear your cell phone better and hear the boy with goals say “It sucks that you’re not here… I miss you…”
You’re in a cab at 3 in the morning. Somehow your phone battery is still alive and you’re going to the club to see him. It’s his last night in New York. You’ve been communicating every day for 2 months. A million messages. He’s been texting you all night, wondering if you’re still going to come. Your heart races. The buildings pass. You can’t wait to see him. You’re sweaty, your clothes are shitty and you’re tired but it doesn’t matter. He’s texting you every step of the way. He’s excited to see you. You get there. The bouncer looks at you funny but you know that nothing will keep you out of this club even without your fake ID. “What.” It’s not a question. It’s just a word you say. Hypnotized, the bouncer lifts the velvet rope. Music can’t stop this. You walk through the club and it feels like a long panning shot in one of those mafia movies, when everybody is still happy, and no-one’s been double crossed yet. At the very end booth, he is there and he sees you and he smiles. He’s in black. Black is your favorite color. He’s in heels. You love boys in heels. There are people between you, and you greet them as you go through, but everyone knows. They’re parting for you like the ballroom sequence in Rocky Horror and you finally get there. You face each other. Your fingers are touching. He wants to go outside. It’s raining. You stand under the bodega awning. You take a picture of him with your camera phone. While you guys are looking at it he kisses you. Then he smiles and says “I love the way you smell.” This is the boy you love. He is looking at you. You ask him what he wants to do now and he says he wants to hang out with you until he has to catch his plane tomorrow. Your heart is beating. It just won’t stop pounding in your chest. He’s just looking at you. Smiling.
(written on the bus to San Diego, standing room only)